Notre Dame Prep choir amazes with 92-voice virtual rendition of ‘He Never Failed Me Yet’ (VIDEO)

Choir director says five-minute video required students, alumni to record separate tracks spliced together; project required 40 hours of editing

PONTIAC — Notre Dame Preparatory’s choir and alumni are bringing the world a little closer together, even when it remains far apart. 

On April 19, the Pontiac-based Catholic school released a video that featured 92 singers — 67 current students and 25 alumni and teachers — singing a rendition of “He Never Failed Me Yet” by Robert Ray and orchestrated by Keith Christopher. 

The five-minute video features shots of all 92 singers performing in unison, conducted by David Fazzini, director of choirs at Notre Dame Prep. 

Fazzini said he was thinking about a virtual choir performance ever since the school closed its doors in March because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and seeing videos of similar performances persuaded him that the choir should try it.

“When the we got stuck with the school closing down, it seemed like an easy way to go,” Fazzini told Detroit Catholic

Fazzini recorded the different voice parts with his daughter, Chloe Fazzini, an alumna of the choral program, and then sent those parts of the song to the students to practice and record a video of them singing. 

“I recorded a video of myself conducting the song with their track as audio,” Fazzini said. “So they watched a video of me conducting and used their phone to record their audio. So each student had to prepare themselves on their own with these materials.”

Notre Dame Preparatory High School students perform a rendition of Robert Ray’s “He Never Failed Me Yet” in a performance synchronized by choir director David Fazzini. Fazzini said the 92-voice choir rehearsed the song separately and sent him videos of themselves, which he then edited into the final product. (Screengrab via YouTube)

The students sent the videos of them singing back to Fazzini, who then edited and synced the videos together to make the finished product — an estimated 40 hours of editing, Fazzini guesses. 

“I work in a couple of different music groups that do weddings and different events around town, making small music videos that use five or six different angles,” Fazzini said. “This had 92 different angles of video, 92 separate videos that had to be synced. Overall, it was 10 times what I have been used to.” 

The end result is a stunning rendition of the 92-voice choir, featuring solo performances from Chloe Fazzini and another Notre Dame Prep alumna, Gracie Calvaneso, who is currently pursuing a music career in Nashville. 

In a time when the world seems upside down, Fazzini is glad the song has been so well received, with more than 6,300 views. 

“I picked the song not only because it’s one of my favorite Gospel tunes, but my wife was talking about linking it to Divine Mercy Sunday, because the song is all about singing of God’s mercy,” Fazzini said. “It wasn’t a very detailed song to learn; the chorus sings the refrain and the rest are a couple of soloists. I thought it could be something we could pull off relatively easily for our first video, and in the end I’m super happy with the results.”

Fazzini said the greatest technical challenge for the singers was staying in rhythm and breathing together despite singing by themselves. Fazzini noted the cutoffs each of the singers recorded synced well together and required little editing, a credit to his students’ and alumni’s ability to adapt. 

“What makes this whole feel process feel so great is that it is reaching so many people,” Fazzini said. “It’s about being inspired to have hope and faith, and if it links people to this idea of Divine Mercy, this great gift with have, then that’s just amazing.”